Roger Federer has advised Andy Murray not to try and play through the pain barrier at Wimbledon next week. World number one Murray has struggled with a string of fitness problems in 2017 with a hip injury now sparking concerns over his participation at SW19, which begins next Monday (3 July).
After his shock first-round defeat to Jordan Thompson at Queen's, the Briton was due to play twice at Hurlingham in the Aspall Tennis Classic this week as part of his final preparations for the third major of the year.
But after pulling out of Tuesday's exhibition with Lucas Pouille, Murray today (Thursday) withdrew from his second match in quick succession, explaining: "My hip is still sore and I need to rest it today and likely tomorrow."
Federer, speaking at the Laver Cup launch in Wimbledon, expects the "hard as nails" Murray to overcome the worrisome knock. But the 18-time grand slam champion has warned his rival should not run the risk of suffering further injury if he doesn't feel he is ready to play consistently and intensely over two weeks.
"You would need to feel like you could play for 14 days, if you feel you can only play one match it isn't good enough," Federer said.
Going over the best-of-five sets over two weeks, only the tough ones will survive, it will flush you out," Federer said, AFP report.
"You need to feel confident in your body otherwise what's the point. The world is watching, the defending champion opening the court is a big deal. Because it's a big deal you want to feel as close to 100 percent as possible."
Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, doesn't get the impression Murray's injury is severe enough to discourage him from playing next week, however, and fully expects the 30-year-old to open the championship on Centre Court on Monday.
"We're talking like he's in hospital almost. It seems like he can't walk no more," Federer said.
"The way I know Andy, he is tough as nails. I feel like he will be there on opening Monday. There are injuries and injuries. He would have to be seriously injured not to play.
"For me if he can be get through the first round and feel better after he should play. I expect him to play."